|Jimmy Carr ...still waiting for payment|
|Crook: Paul Coxwell or Paul Parker ?|
The tragedy of this once superbly appointed structure, originally a 1930's Odeon where Peter Boizot as a young lad watched the stars of the big screen, would make a compelling screenplay. Years later his Mistvelley company would see £7-10 million lavished on the building to recreate a pastiche of its art deco interior. It even had a rising platform centre front as Boizot had dreams of reinstalling a Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Sadly that was never to happen.
Broadway - now (dark )
The main auditorium a massive 1,200 seater also has the first sixteen rows on pads that could be removed making a dance floor or fully carpeted huge cabaret room space available within a couple of hours.
The possibilities were seemingly endless, but the building alone was not enough, within weeks of the original opening under Mistvalley management, the realisation set in that further substantial funding was required for marketing. Cashflow was a major problem right from day one.
Then - Odeon Cinema
Peter Boizot offered the theatre to the council but they declined, by which time the end was in sight for the Boizot owned company. This company in Peterborough, also controlled The Great Eastern Hotel, Gastons and Miss Pears, now newly reopened as Carluccios.
The Broadway venture was mortgaged up to the hilt, saddled with huge debt, but the fit out by Theatre Projects would see a West End size big cinema screen and a 16 channel surround sound system, it was also tied up with the launch of the very first Harry Potter film. It complimented the Gastons restaurant in a leased connected building next door, Gastons Restaurant alone took £22k for the week of the Harry Potter debut.. ( now also derelict after a later far east restaurant venture decamped overnight within weeks of opening )
The screen on a railway track system could almost instantly be rolled aside and around the back of the stage for live stage shows. All this was sadly later ripped out once the buildling was sold by the mortgage holders, as a distress sale ( rumoured to be well under one million.... ) to lap dance club owner and businessman Rinaldo Fasulo.
The current state of the building (according to the website on offer for £2.8 million ) which suffered a fire, would mean a complete renovation, and the theatre kit, lighting, audio now 13 year old technology, all would need renovating or replaced along with major works on the air conditioning and lift systems....
More on this story can be found in the current edition of The Stage
This is what www.theatreforsale.co.uk is saying:
1200 SEAT AUDITORIUM
The auditorium has attracted many acts over the years such as: Jimmy Carr, Al Murray, Dara O'Brien, Alexander O'Neil, Jethro Tull, Pantomimes, The Stranglers and Slade. The architecture and decor of the auditorium, while modern in age, is inkeeping [SIC] with the golden era of theatre in the UK. The acoustics in the auditorium make it ideal as a concert video and the tiered seated offers good views of the stage from all angles. Having personally sat in one of these seats for a 6 hour Kenn [SIC] Dodd performance I can vouch for the comfort of the seating.
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